Classes are in full swing in the Wauwatosa School District and students and parents will notice a number of updates and changes within buildings this year.
According to information provided by the school district, the following are new initiatives or changes sweeping through local schools:
- The demand for STEM programs continues to grow. In addition to Wauwatosa STEM, Longfellow Middle School has added a program for sixth- through eighth-graders. Demand for the program has been so high at Longfellow that the school has a waiting list and has added another teacher and classroom for the STEM program this year. Further, a STEM project has been incorporated into all middle school science classes so that every student will be exposed to the curriculum.
- McKinley and Wilson elementary schools now have "Buddy Benches," which are designed to help kids learn how to practice empathy and engage with peers. If a student notices someone sitting on the bench, it means they don't have anyone to play with and should be invited to play. The Buddy Bench concept has been used elsewhere and the new seating was donated by a local business.
- Washington Elementary School will have an artist in residence this fall. The local artist will do artwork for the school as part of a beautification initiative and will help students create pieces. This project was funded by the school's Parent Teacher Student Association.
- Student performances at Washington Elementary School will now be a bit more enjoyable for parents. The school has added a projector and large screen in the gymnasium so that families can see all students participating in band and choir performances regardless of their seat. This project was also funded by the school's PTSA.
- Wauwatosa East High School's theater department is making progress on its large renovation project, scheduled to reach completion in November.
- Wauwatosa East and West high schools have renovated their cooking class areas and turned them into a culinary arts lab that includes state of the art equipment like stainless steel appliances, double ovens and a glass wall that students can write on.
- The libraries at Madison, Jefferson and Underwood elementary schools were completely renovated for this year to make way for new, flexible learning spaces.
- The Wauwatosa School District is embracing new math curriculum for its middle and high schools. Each classroom will receive new, flexible furniture that complements the new curriculum.
- The district's English & Language Arts program will introduce a new workshop learning model where middle school students follow a higher education model of learning and direct much of their own work.